In just over one month, according to President Biden, the U.S. will have completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, after 20 years.
But for those two decades, Afghanistan’s neighbor to the east, Pakistan, has been a key player in the regional dynamics, and stands long accused by the United States and Afghanistan of supporting Taliban insurgents.
In a moment, I will have an interview with Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, but, first, some background on him and the fraught relationship with the U.S. and Afghanistan.
From the 1970s to the early 90’s, Imran Khan was a professional athlete, a cricket star, guiding Pakistan’s national team to victory. Now, as Pakistan’s prime minister, he’s leading his country at a time of regional tumult.
As the U.S. leaves Afghanistan, the Taliban is making swift territorial advances. When the Taliban recently took over a key Afghan-Pakistani border crossing, residents on the Pakistani side seemed to celebrate, waving Taliban flags and honking horns.
Recently, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani made a longstanding accusation: Pakistan provides insurgents safe haven.
ASHRAF GHANI, President of Afghanistan: Intelligence estimates indicate the influx of over 10,000 jihadi fighters from Pakistan and other places in the last month, as well as support from their affiliates in the transnational terrorist organization.